The Big Gray Apple open line. Plus, could a gay couple get a manger in Fayetteville?

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WHAT I SEE: A gray day in New York City.

I'm nominally off this week, taking Christmas to my kids (funny thing to call a daughter, 34, and son, 29, kids, but so they'll always be to me) in their New York City home.

But I dropped in a few notes when I checked my computer this afternoon. (How great was it to fly nonstop from Little Rock to LaGuardia this morning, an American Eagle flight ending for lack of business in March.)

City sidewalks are as thronged by shoppers as you'd imagine. All in a big hurry. I feel a little like Gomer Pyle — gawwwleee — as I look around, such as the view from my sister-in-law's apartment across Central Park to Fifth Avenue.

Anyway, here's an open line. Our week is going to be busy with all the stuff you can do in New York — theater, food, music, shopping — plus catching up on the doings of the younger Brantley generation. But I'll try to drop in a word here and there during the week. Christmas week generally starts slow and gets slower for news.

Would the Arkansas Supreme Court issue a ruling in the same-sex marriage case during Christmas week? It would be a wonderful present to thousands of loving couples across Arkansas if they affirmed Judge Chris Piazza.  Just in time for equitable tax treatment for the New Year, for example. It would outrage others, particularly those whose Christianity includes a Golden Rule with an exception for gay people seeking a room in an inn in Fayetteville. Innkeepers must have the religious freedom to deny lodging to certain types of sinners, if not others (adulterers, OK). Or so the Baptist preachers have been saying this week. Even requiring a manger for a gay couple with child would be an affront to the religious people holding sway in Fayetteville.

(PS: Lest you think I'm being too sarcastic. The commercial exception that the anti-gay people in Fayetteville require from any civil rights ordinance in the name of religion is not merely about refusing to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. It is about letting someone legally discriminate in government-permitted commercial services, jobs and housing for merely thinking someone is gay. I can't say for a certainty of course, but I just don't think Jesus would do it.)




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